The 2012 Oscar Nominations Are Here

The Artist leads the pack

The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards are here at last, and the big not-a-surprise-at-all is that The Artist leads the way in the major categories. Hugo has more nominations, with 11, but The Artist's 10 nominations are in the bigger categories and therefore we're still going to call it the big winner here.

Elsewhere, War Horse has six nominations, of which five are technical, as do The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Moneyball; The Descendants has five.

The Best Picture category has, in recent years, gone from five nominees to 10 to however-many-they-feel-like, which means that this year there are just nine contenders. The Artist is, of course, among them, but it's up against The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball, Midnight In Paris, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, War Horse and The Tree Of Life.

Every Best Picture winner since 1980 or so has also had a Best Editing nomination, and the four films that also have an editing nod this year are The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo and Moneyball - so it's one of those four that will most likely take home the big prize.

Best Director sees Hazanavicius go up against Alexander Payne, along with old hands Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick, on his second nomination following one for The Thin Red Line. The big snub there is probably Spielberg, who might have hoped for a nod for War Horse.

Best Actress goes more-or-less as suspected, but it's good to see Rooney Mara get some love for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo alongside Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn, Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs and Viola Davis for The Help.

Best Actor features a few surprises: Demián Bichir and Jean Dujardin fly foreign flags for A Better Life and The Artist; Gary Oldman keeps the British end up for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; George Clooney and Brad Pitt bring the star power for The Descendants and Moneyball respectively. No Fassbender? But then again, he is probably too young to win.

Best Supporting Actress sees Bérénice Bejo for The Artist (a strategic move from the Best Actress category?), Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids (a comedy nod!), Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs and Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer for The Help face off, leading to what could be a split between the two nominees for The Help.

Best Supporting Actor has Kenneth Branagh (My Week With **Marilyn) going against Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Nick Nolte (Warrio**r) and Christopher Plummer for Beginners. And that's not a collection of actors we ever thought we'd see in one place. Our money's still on Plummer for the sort of Lifetime Achievement win.

Best Original Screenplay is perhaps the most interesting and non-Oscary category we've ever seen, with Bridesmaids in there against Midnight In Paris and A Separation. Interesting Wall St drama Margin Call and The Artist complete that line-up.

So what are the obvious omissions? Drive was totally blanked in the major categories; Steven Spielberg may feel slighted over War Horse and the absence of Tintin from the Animated category (was it submitted as such?) and We Need To Talk About Kevin and Shame were both left aside in favour of slightly cheerier fare. We're also disappointed not to see Tilda Swinton and Charlize Theron in there for Kevin and Young Adult.

The Oscar ceremony will be held on February 26 at the Kodak Theatre in LA. Expect to see lots of "Silence Is Golden" and "Strong But Silent" headlines between now and then. It will take all night, our time, but Empire will be covering every minute so do come along - virtually - and join us!

The full list of nominees is below:

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants - Alexander Payne
Hugo - Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
The Tree of Life - Terrence Malick

Demián Bichir - A Better Life
George Clooney - The Descendants
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt - Moneyball

Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Max von Sydow - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis - The Help
Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams - My Week With Marilyn

Bérénice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer - The Help

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

The Descendants - Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon &
Jim Rash

Hugo - John Logan
The Ides of March - George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball - Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin
Story by Stan Chervin

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids - Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call - J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
A Separation - Asghar Farhadi**

The Artist - Production Design: Laurence Bennett, Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Hugo - Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris - Production Design: Anne Seibel, Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
War Horse - Production Design: Rick Carter, Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

The Artist - Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo - Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life - Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse - Janusz Kaminski

Anonymous - Lisy Christl
The Artist - Mark Bridges
Hugo - Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre - Michael O’Connor
W.E. - Arianne Phillips

Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth
Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

The Artist - Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants - Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo - Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball - Christopher Tellefsen

Bullhead - Belgium
Footnote - Israel
In Darkness - Poland
Monsieur Lazhar - Canada
A Separation - Iran

Albert Nobbs - Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and
Matthew W. Mungle

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Part 2 - Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady - Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

The Adventures of Tintin - John Williams
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Hugo - Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alberto Iglesias
War Horse - John Williams

Man or Muppet - The Muppets, Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
Real in Rio – Rio, Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown
Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Dimanche/Sunday - Patrick Doyon
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
La Luna - Enrico Casarosa
A Morning Stroll - Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
Wild Life - Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Pentecost - Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
Raju - Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
The Shore - Terry George and Oorlagh George
Time Freak - Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
Tuba Atlantic - Hallvar Witzø

Drive - Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Ren Klyce
Hugo - Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse - Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Hugo - Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Moneyball - Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and
Ed Novick

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
War Horse - Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and
Stuart Wilson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Part 2 - Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and
John Richardson

Hugo - Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and
Alex Henning

Real Steel - Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

NOMINEES TALLY Hugo 11 The Artist 10 Moneyball 6 War Horse 6 The Descendants 5 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 5 Midnight In Paris 4 Albert Nobbs 3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 3 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 3 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon 3 The Tree Of Life 3 The Iron Lady 2 My Week With Marilyn 2 A Seperation 2